Senate passes bill guaranteeing back pay for workers after shutdown ends

No end for government shutdown in sight

Trump flew to the Texas border with Mexico to try to bolster his case for the border wall as a partial United States government shutdown tied to the issue stretched into its 20th day with no sign of new talks to resolve the impasse.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing on Marine One from the White House on January 10, 2019 in Washington, DC before traveling to McAllen, Texas, where he will visit the U.S. -Mexico border.

"I had an opportunity to talk to the president a few moments ago, and wanted to indicate to our colleagues that he will sign the bill that we are discussing here to guarantee that government workers who've been displaced because of the shutdown will ultimately be compensated", McConnell said on the Senate floor. He is seeking to use the trip to bolster his argument that a wall is needed on security and humanitarian grounds.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., defended his party Thursday minutes after Trump spoke, telling Fox News that Democrats support "strong border security".

The House passed a legislative package last week that would end the shutdown and has started passing a series of bills this week that would open back up closed federal agencies, but the White House has issued veto threats for the legislation.

"Not only was the president unpresidential ― surprise, surprise ― yesterday in his behavior, I think the meeting was a setup so he could walk out", Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill.


As it stands, voters hold the GOP and Trump responsible for the shutdown. The president argues this is essential for border security and claims the current situation is a crisis.

"I didn't smash the table". "I just don't see a pathway forward".

The president said he is considering using his national emergency powers to expropriate the funding he needs for the wall, bypassing Congress altogether.

"We have plenty of funds if there's a national emergency", he said.

A day after he stormed out of a meeting with Democratic leaders, Trump attacked them for refusing his demand, calling them harder to deal with than China, a rival power.

McConnell has made clear that he won't take up any legislation related to the shutdown in the Senate that President Donald Trump won't sign. A White House official denied Trump had been briefed on the plan, and the Pentagon declined to comment on the news reports.

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